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PBA: Rain or Shine wards off TNT, sets up semis clash with SMB

Rain or Shine blew a huge lead, but hung tough just enough to escape a late TNT surge, 110-109, in Game 3 of their best-of-three quarterfinals series in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

The Elasto Painters remained as the only independent club still in the running as they set up a semifinals showdown against no less than defending champion San Miguel. Ginebra and Meralco, meanwhile, completed the other pairing. 

Gian Mamuyac showed up in the clutch, burying a huge three-pointer over the defense of Glenn Khobuntin to give Rain or Shine a pivotal 106-100 lead with 38.3 seconds left in the fourth. 

That shot gave the Elasto Painters some breathing room after losing a 20-point cushion midway through the third period with Calvin Oftana fueling TNT's fourth quarter rally with three triples that forced a 98-all deadlock. 

Veteran big man Kelly Williams then displayed his range, nailing two long bombs to cut TNT's deficit to just two, 106-108, in the final 5.5 seconds. 

Gabe Norwood, however, steadily sank two freebies to make it a four-point lead to allow Rain or Shine to complete the victory despite another triple from Williams at the buzzer. 

Mamuyac top-scored Rain or Shine with a conference-high of 25 points together with three rebounds and one steal while Jhonard Clarito flirted with a double-double of 17 markers and nine boards. 

TNT, which actually won the Game 1 but faltered in the next two games, banked on Williams and Oftana, who churned out 32 and 27 points apiece while Pogoy still finished in 22 markers after he was stretchered off the court with 2:19 left in the game. 


Rain or Shine 110 – Mamuyac 25, Clarito 17, Santillan 15, Datu 11, Nocum 11, Ildefonso 10, Norwood 6, Caracut 5, Asistio 5, Belga 5, Demusis 0.

TNT 109 – K.Williams 32, Oftana 27, Pogoy 22, Khobuntin 10, Montalbo 4, Castro 4, Aurin 4, Galinato 2, Heruela 2, M.Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Reyes 0, Ponferrada 0.

Quarters: 39-22, 59-45, 89-72, 110-109.

—Bea Micaller/JKC, GMA Integrated News